Maria Muldaur – Midnight at the Oasis

It took years for me to appreciate this song but I do now. Her voice is incredible on it. Critics and other rock stars loved this song at the time. It peaked at #6 in the Billboard 100, #21 in the UK, and #2 in Canada in 1974.

AllMusic reviewer Matthew Greenwald describes the song as “so sensual and evocative that it was probably one of the most replayed records of the era and also may be responsible for the most pregnancies from a record during the mid-’70s”


From Songfacts.

A hit song can become a burden to a singer if she is sick of the song yet still expected to perform it night after night. So how does Muldaur feel about constantly performing this song? She told us: “I still do enjoy singing it. And you know why? Because number one, it was a very hip-ly written song. A lot of the jazz artists have covered it because it’s very well constructed. Imagine my plight if my big hit had been ‘Wild Thing‘ by the Troggs, a really dumb three-chord song. But it’s a song that’s so well constructed that an artist can improvise on it night after night. So that’s reason number one, it’s a cool song.

Reason number two is I love the look of the faces of the audience when the band strikes that number up, when the band goes into the intro of that number. Because apparently, from all the stories that have been told to me when I meet my fans after the show to sign my CD, that song was the soundtrack to many a love-and-lust affair, and if I had been

 writing down all the stories of what people tell me they were doing or were inspired to do because of that song, or as that song was playing, I could have written quite the little x-rated book. So when I start that song, people’s faces light up and I see very happy, maybe slightly x-rated memories flitting across their faces. And so that’s worth more than any Grammy nomination or award – to hear first hand from your fans, from hundreds and hundreds of fans, how a piece of music I didn’t even write, but that I selected and recorded and just put out there in the airwaves, just had such a happy impact on people’s lives. What a gift is that?”

Midnight at the Oasis

Midnight at the oasis
Send your camel to bed
Shadows painting our faces
Traces of romance in our heads
Heaven’s holding a half-moon
Shining just for us
Let’s slip off to a sand dune, real soon
And kick up a little dust
Come on, Cactus is our friend
He’ll point out the way
Come on, till the evening ends
Till the evening ends
You don’t have to answer
There’s no need to speak
I’ll be your belly dancer, prancer
And you can be my sheik

I know your Daddy’s a sultan
A nomad known to all
With fifty girls to attend him, they all send him
Jump at his beck and call
But you won’t need no harem, honey
When I’m by your side
And you won’t need no camel, no no
When I take you for a ride
Come on, Cactus is our friend
He’ll point out the way
Come on, till the evening ends
Till the evening ends
Midnight at the oasis
Send your camel to bed
Got shadows painting our faces
And traces of romance in our heads


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

16 thoughts on “Maria Muldaur – Midnight at the Oasis”

  1. I was surprised to see she had another hit I”m A Woman- I thought she was a one hit wonder. I would also challenge the pregnancy quote from the critic- or at least throw up Chevy Van- as another contender for that award.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Muldaur’s song is great but an odd kind of song- odd enough to be a big hit I think but I am not surprised she didn’t have but one more hit. It just sounds like a ‘one hit wonder’ but then we know she only had two hits so I guess that is easy to say now.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Jimmy Page and a few others would gush about this song…on how great it was. I read where more rock stars loved this song.
        It does sound like a one hit wonder

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It is a song that stands out for being different. I don’t know why but I would have guessed it was from say 1976 or 77 not as early as 1973.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Maybe because it was heard constantly on most radio stations and soundtracks. Songs like that are hard to pin down because you constantly heard it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great song – I’ve seen Maria a couple of times in the last three years and I don’t know why she has to be such a bitch to her fans. I don’t know if it’s vanity (sorry Maria we all age) or some kind of Diva complex. Don’t piss off your fans – We love you and respect you – maybe give a little of that love back – just sayin’

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this record. I was 16 when it came out, and it’s pure sultry summer, love her voice and the laid-back vibes. Never got fed up with it, and it was a hit cover for jazz-flavoured Brand New Heavies nearly 20 years later. I am probably the only person who bought the UK follow-up single Gringo In Mexico which was also pretty good, off the Waitress In A Donut Shop album 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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